It’s Difficult…

Bits of poems keep coming to me at the moment, but only in the form of phrases or the odd line. And nothing that relates to other poems I might be working on. Then when I attempt to tease them out further, the muse just disappears.

I think I’ve finished with A Good Place (the novel I’ve been working on for the last four years). That’s ‘finished with’ as opposed to ‘finished’. It’s just not a story I feel compelled to tell and on the basis of if you have nothing to say, then say nothing, I see no point in continuing with it for now. Anything I do feel I want to say at present can probably best be said in the form of poetry.

Even if I’m having trouble writing them at the moment.

There is a popular post that crops up on social media, invariably a variation on a photograph of a log cabin somewhere in a wilderness, with a caption along the lines of No TV, no internet, but plenty of books and all the food and drink you need. Could you live here for a month for $10,000? to which most people seem to reply Definitely! or Bring it on! or somesuch.

Leaving aside the interesting point that so many people say they would welcome that situation, it is certainly something that speaks strongly to me. Well, more than ‘speaks strongly’ – it jumps up and down waving its arms in the air and shouting ‘Oi! Look at me! Over here!’ Nothing seems to hold my interest at the present; I just feel I want to disappear into the wilderness and walk and walk and walk.

Maybe I’ll come across my muse there.

It’s the incessant noise as much as anything. Traffic. Aircraft. People talking or shouting into mobile phones in the quiet of the woods. Chainsaws, drills, and hammering. Unless you’re in the middle of Dartmoor or the Cairngorms, there’s no escape. And no guarantee of it even there.

32 thoughts on “It’s Difficult…

  1. How frustrating for you, Mick, having bits of poems floating about in your head but not being able to develop them into anything. I’m sure your muse will come back before very long. Perhaps something may occur unexpectedly when you’ve got back into the swing of writing here. My muse seems to have upped sticks and gone altogether – I haven’t written a poem for months.

    What a shame about your novel, after all your work and effort over the years. But if your heart isn’t in it anymore, perhaps, you’d be better starting afresh on something else when a new topic springs to mind. We can’t force these things, though, can we? It’ll come when it’s ready.

    As for the log cabin, I’m tempted. I’d love the books as I never seem to have time to read at home even though there’s a book I’m keen to get stuck into. My concentration isn’t great at the best of times. Perhaps, if I were in a log cabin, I wouldn’t be so easily distracted by emails, WhatsApp, Facebook (not that I use it that much) and blogging (although I enjoy the latter). I can just see you there, though. I loved your comment about the idea jumping up and down and waving its arms. It made me giggle. I loved the ‘slow please kittens sign too!’ What a strange sign to see in the middle of nowhere.

    As always, I’ve written too much! Have a great evening, and stay cool if you can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ellie. It’s always possible that at some point I may have a brainwave and decide I know exactly what I need to change in that novel; exactly what I want to say in it. I suppose it’s more likely, though, that I may end up dismembering it and using sections for something else.

      The log cabin, though, appeals to me by its very lack of internet or TV. Reading is one thing I have no trouble doing, and I get through at least one book every week. But without those distractions I’m sure I’d read much more and, hopefully, get down to some serious writing.

      Alternately, of course, I might just spend the whole time walking in the woods.

      Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Mick, you have my sympathy. I am also struggling with the noise pollution at the moment. It was so lovely and quiet during the lockdowns and now I am assaulted by noise all day long. I am having to wear ear phones at work for the first time in my life because the noise distracts me so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Robbie. The noise is just part of the difficulty of writing – getting distracted certainly seems my main problem. I just hate the fact it seems impossible to get away from noise, now, wherever I go.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Poor you. I’m never sure why having a muse is such a buggeratoon at time. Like a bloody teen ignoring you, demanding attention at inconvenient times and spending hours moaning about the lack of inspiration at the fridge’s contents. Nothing a musing about it really. Hope he/she/they/walrus (whatever pronoun yours prefers) will return soon with decent coffee and noise cancelling ideas .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really feel I have more chance of successfully persuading a teenager to come to heel than I do my muse. Beginning to wonder whether there might be somewhere I could trade them in for a new one.

      Does occasionally answer to Walrus, actually. How did you know?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. From what you’ve said, it seems to me that distractions of various sorts are more the issue than the actual noise level. Of course, I live in a world that’s relatively quiet, thanks in part of certain decisions I made years ago when I tossed the televisions (literally) and refused to participate in social media. Working outdoors rather than in an office helps, too — no frustrating commutes or frustrating co-workers makes a big difference.

    As for that Muse, my advice is so idiosyncratic it may not be useful, but here it is: fire your Muse and send her packing. Then, depend on yourself. You may find you don’t need a Muse for inspiration at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, definitely distractions, and the computer is the worst of them. Not just social media, but other tempting websites to check up on!

      But my muse really has deserted me for the moment. Even when I have ideas to work on, and sit with a notebook and pencil out in the garden or go for a walk in the woods, it just doesn’t happen at the moment. I’m really not quite sure what the answer is at the moment, other than being patient and letting it take its course.


  5. Sometimes you just have to wait a while until you feel ready to write again. At least that’s been my experience. You can force it, of course, but I think it’s better to wait until the desire to write a story or a complete poem becomes too strong to ignore. Andrew Taylor (author of historical fiction) once said something along the lines of, “Don’t try to remember the stories you want to write, write the stories you can’t forget, no matter how hard you try.” Maybe if you just let yourself off the hook, so to speak, you’ll relax enough to find your voice again. Just a suggestion, hope it helps!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ann. I’m beginning to worry, though, that I’ve left it for long enough and still nothing seems to be coming through. I’m going to have start forcing it a little, just to see what happens.


  6. Mick, it was as if you were reading my mind. I’m going through the same thing- I have so many phrases,lines of poems in my head but no poem. I too ‘finished with’ a book- my first book and it took me four years. I hope your post is not a sign that I too should not dispense it.
    Hoping we find our muse again and soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Smitha, I have an idea. Why don’t we swap muses and see if that helps? You never know, they might even complement each other!

      Failing that, I suppose we just have to keep plugging away. Hopefully, your book will suddenly make sense to you, though.


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